Hollywood is a tough arena to get into (trust me, I've been trying for years). A lot of young, naïve writers/directors start out with the idea of "I'm going to make whatever I wish! They will see that I am their savior!". Flash forward a few years after that and they are saying "Just give me anything, I'LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!". You have to get in somehow, right?
For actors, we see them playing bit parts here and there, perhaps even starting out as extras, praying for just a few lines of dialogue. What about big time movie directors? What are their first steps in the industry? As with most occupations, there is no sure-fire path to success. However, many directors simply take whatever work they can get at first, hoping to pad their resume and simply get a damn paycheck. Sometimes, directors get so used to grabbing anything that pays that they don't stop, even after they've made it. There are a number of reasons directors will work an odd job here and there between their main films. Here are 5 films written or co-written by now-famous directors that may surprise you.
5. The Adventures of Tintin (Edgar Wright)
At the end of 2011, Steven Spielberg gave us a double-whammy: the purely Oscar-bait Warhorse, and the newest adaptation of Tintin for the big screen. Spielberg seemed like a pretty good fit for this type of movie (adventure suits him well) but a further inspection of the credits shows a left-field choice of writers: Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. While Joe Cornish wasn't very well known until his 2011 film Attack the Block, Edgar Wright was already pretty well established in the film world. He shot to fame with the funny/bloody zombie movie Shaun of the Dead, cop-movie send-up Hot Fuzz, and more recently with the hyper-kinetic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
So to see him land on a motion-captured Tintin movie was a curious move. Spielberg seems to mostly go with stand alone screenwriters rather than opt for other directors. Perhaps this may encourage Spielberg to reach out to more writer/directors in the future...but keep George Lucas far away.
Ryan Estabrooks is a film writer/director and photographer. When he is not busy solving mysteries, he can be found working on his feature length film. You can view all of his work at the imaginatively-titled RyanEstabrooks.com